Feb 22, 2006 4:36am
Re: Strange happenings at Dead Shows
1-11-79, Nassau Coliseum:
My first show (you never forget your first ;-)
All of 14, w/my best friend and chaperoned by my Mom (thanks, Mom!) who was pretty confused by the whole thing, walking around the halls of the "mausoleum" before the show, thinking "This is soooo cool!" when this hippie girl comes out of nowhere, yelling and pointing at us "Look! Look! Little Dead Heads!!", and then skipping away laughing w/her friends. I recall thinking at the time (a little petulantly) "I'm not little!", but boy was I hooked, especially after they did a killer Jack Straw and I had my Lovelight turned on for good. (Didn't know it at the time, but it was one of Donna & Keith's last shows and the only time I would ever see them).
Madison Square Garden, 1983:
5th row center; First St. Stephen in 5 years. 'Nuff said.
Road trip from New Orleans to Hampton, Virginia, 1986:
16 hours is a long time to be trapped in a car w/2 people you don't know--a couple--who offered you a ride to the show and then fought and bickered the entire way. Plus, it rained insanely heavily for the ENTIRE ride. Didn't think that was possible. Went w/out tickets for the shows (last of the halcyon days before In the Dark when you could still get tickets the day of...) Too polite (and b/c I didn't know them and it was their car), too scared to say to these two to please for the love of Jerry STF UP ALREADY...! white knuckled gripping the steering wheel trying not to hydroplane out of control and half wishing I would b/c at least that would stop the yelling ...wondering if this was the biggest waste of my time and money ever...finally getting to Hampton, ditching the Lockhorns to go find tix, scoring, getting in for what was a pretty tepid first set and still wondering if I made a huge mistake when at the end of Set One Phil steps up to the mic and they bust into the first BOX OF RAIN in 14 years!!! All the badness just melted away after that. Even the ride home was a joy (the couple had been healed by Phil's big surprise, I guess) and I had the extra satisfaction of saying to my friends who had opted not to go "Box of Rain, man...Box of Rain." Only later realized how extra appropriate that was given the ride...
Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, Summer run, 1989:
Another rain-soaked event, but 3 fabulous shows. Chilling in the totally dark, mud-caked "parking lot" w/my buddy after the last show, reflecting on a great road trip ( I had driven from NY, he had come down from Toronto) when this poor head comes up to us, looking completely lost, and in all seriousness says "Have you guys seen a brown car?" We were both stunned speechless and could only stare and offer him a beer as he shuffled off into the darkness.